FLOWOOD, Miss. – Over $200,000 will go towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Dozens gathered at the Nature Park in Flowood, Saturday to walk for a cure for type 1 diabetes. It’s money that could one day help 11-year-old Hayden Simmons no longer be insulin dependent.
“The bacteria chewed on my pancreas and my pancreas is makes insulin and I have to use this pump right here to make it give me insulin,” explains Hayden. He was just 20-months-old when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He wears an insulin pump attached at his hip to help maintain his blood sugar levels.
“It sends insulin through this tube and in to my stomach,” says Hayden.
Nearly 1.25 million Americans suffer with T1D; 200,000 are patients under the age of 20, including 8-year-old Jack.
“It was very difficult in the beginning, learning how to give insulin, how much insulin to give, counting carbs,” says Jack’s mom, Shelley Carter.
Each day Jack takes four insulin shots, he pricks his finger at least eight times to make sure his blood sugar stays on track. His life requires constant carbohydrate counting, blood-glucose testing and a lifelong dependency on injected insulin.
“Jack just takes it all in, takes it in stride and just does great,” says Carter.
The foundation holds over 200 walks a year to raise money for diabetes research.